Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 12:20 p.m. EDT

April 07, 2017 - 12:26 pm


The Latest: French, German ministers express shock at crash

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The foreign ministers of Germany and France are reacting with shock to the deadly truck attack in Stockholm.

Sigmar Gabriel and Jean-Marc Ayrault noted Sweden's efforts for human rights, peace and justice around the world.

In a joint statement Friday, they said that "this makes the shock about the pictures coming from the heart of Stockholm that much greater."

Both Germany and France experienced deadly truck attacks last year that were claimed by the Islamic State group.

Separately, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed solidarity with the victims in Stockholm "and all people in Sweden."


The Latest: Gorsuch to be sworn in Monday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says Neil Gorsuch will be sworn in as the 113th justice on Monday in separate ceremonies at the court and the White House.

Justices take two oaths, one required by the Constitution and the other set by federal law.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath to Gorsuch in a private ceremony in the justices' conference room at 9 a.m.

Later Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy will ask his former law clerk and new colleague to take the second oath in a public ceremony at the White House. The court did not give a time for the White House event.

Gorsuch will officially be a member of the court once he takes the two oaths.


US says 58 of 59 missiles hit their targets

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says 58 of the 59 missiles struck their intended targets in the strike on a Syrian air base.

A U.S. official says the initial assessment suggests one of the missiles malfunctioned. The official says the missiles hit multiple aircraft and hardened aircraft shelters and destroyed the fuel area.

The official says information is still coming in from the site of the strike.

The official is not authorized to discuss initial reports and spoke on condition of anonymity.


Syria denounces US attack

DAMASCUS (AP) — Syria's Foreign Ministry is calling the chemical attack that killed scores in northern Syria a "premeditated action that aimed to justify the launching of a US attack on the Syrian army."

The ministry described the U.S. missile attack that heavily damaged the Shayrat air base in the central province of Homs "a flagrant aggression."

It said in a statement Friday that the real objective of the U.S. attack was to "weaken the strength of the Syrian army in confronting terrorist groups."


UN envoy says office is in 'crisis management mode'

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Syria tells The Associated Press that his office is in "crisis management mode" following a U.S. strike on a Syrian air base.

Staffan de Mistura said he was convening an "emergency meeting" later Friday of the International Syria Support Group's cease-fire task force. He said Russia requested the meeting, which was "agreed upon" by the United States.

The two countries are the co-chairs of the multi-country panel that meets regularly in Geneva.

In a text message to the AP, de Mistura said: "We currently are in full operational crisis management mode," without elaborating.

The acknowledgement marked the biggest sign yet that the first intentional U.S. military action against President Bashar Assad's forces could affect nearly three years of peace-making efforts by the U.N. envoy.


Canada backs US strike in Syria

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada fully supports what he called the United States' "limited and focused action" in carrying out a missile strike on Syria.

Trudeau said in a statement Friday the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against its own people cannot be ignored.

He says these gruesome attacks cannot be permitted to continue operating with impunity. He also says this week's attack in southern Idlib is a war crime.

The U.S. blasted a Syrian air base Thursday night with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians.

President Donald Trump cast the United States assault as vital to deter future use of poison gas.


The Latest: Trump having 'very interesting' time with Xi

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump says it's been "very interesting" to spend time with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his delegation.

Trump and Xi are spending part of Friday in talks at Trump's estate in Florida.

Officials have said the leaders are expected to discuss North Korea's nuclear ambitions and trade, among other issues important to the world's two biggest economies.

Trump says they made "tremendous progress" over dinner Thursday, and he's predicting that even more progress will be made before Xi departs later Friday.

He says their relationship is "outstanding."

Xi said a few words afterward in Chinese, but no translator was president. Trump jokingly said he agrees with whatever Xi said.


US employers add just 98K jobs, as rate falls to 4.5 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added just 98,000 jobs last month, the fewest in a year, though the unemployment rate fell to an almost seven-year low of 4.5 percent.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell because nearly a half-million more Americans found jobs. The number of people working and the new job count are done by separate surveys.

Economists had expected a fall-off in hiring after job gains in January and February had averaged a robust 237,000. Those increases had been fueled partly by strong hiring in construction, which occurred because of unseasonably warm weather.

Construction firms added 6,000 jobs in March, the fewest in seven months. Retailers, suffering from the ongoing shift to online shopping, slashed 30,000 jobs. Education and health care services added the fewest jobs in 15 months.


New York police set to deploy 1,200 bodycams around the city

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department is set to deploy 1,200 body cameras around the city starting at the end of the month.

Department officials have resolved the thorniest issues on when to record, how long to keep the tape and when to tell the public they're being recorded.

Officers will turn on the camera when they are making an arrest, pursuing a criminal suspect or dealing with a crime scene. The tape will be kept for a year. The public will be alerted that the body camera is on unless it hinders the investigation.

The guidelines must be approved by a federal monitor tasked with overseeing the project. The pilot program is part of a judge's ruling after finding the NYPD was wrongly targeting minorities through stop and frisk.


Manager hints at possible public return for Richard Simmons

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A return to public life may be in store for Richard Simmons after the fitness guru inked a licensing deal for new merchandise.

License Global reports Prominent Brand + Talent is looking to create a new line of Simmons products. The company is co-founded by Simmons' longtime manager Michael Catalano.

Catalano tells The New York Times it's "possible" that Simmons would be willing to appear in public in order to promote the products, but adds that any decision "is yet to be determined."

Simmons' shying away from the spotlight is the subject of the hit podcast "Missing Richard Simmons," which sought to investigate the reasons behind Simmons' public disappearance.

Catalano tells the Times that while the podcast contained many "mistruths," it did make younger people aware of Simmons.


The Latest: Garcia has fast start in 2nd round of Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Sergio Garcia is in the mix at the Masters, opening the second round with three straight birdies. The run ended with a bogey on the par-3 fourth hole. Still, it's gotten Garcia into a tie for second, four shots behind Charley Hoffman.

The 37-year-old Garcia is among the golfers tagged with the dreaded title as the game's greatest never to win a major. The Spaniard would certainly love to end that at Augusta National. His best finish here was a tie for fourth in 2004. Garcia has had just one top-10 finish in his past 12 appearances.


Romanian tourist hurt in London attack has died

LONDON (AP) — London's Metropolitan Police say a 31-year-old Romanian tourist who plunged into the Thames from Westminster Bridge during an attack on Britain's Houses of Parliament has died, more than two weeks later.

Andreea Cristea was rescued from the river after the attack, in which a man identified as Khalid Masood drove his vehicle into pedestrians on the bridge and then attacked a police officer at the Houses of Parliament.

Cristea's family described her as "our shining ray of light that will forever keep on shining in our hearts," and said they would be donating to charity all the money raised to help her since the March 22 attack.

The death toll from the attack now stands at five, including a police officer who was stabbed to death. The attacker was shot dead by police.


Gorsuch confirmed; Senate approves Trump nominee, 54-45


The Senate has confirmed Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, bringing a contentious 14-month partisan battle to a close after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The vote was 54-45 on Friday. The victory gives President Donald Trump's 49-year-old nominee a lifetime spot on the court and his party a much-needed political win after failing to pass legislation on health care and other issues.

The final confirmation vote came after Senate Republicans rewrote the chamber's rules, voting to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold on Supreme Court nominees. The change allowed the Senate to proceed to the final vote with a simple majority.

Democrats opposed Gorsuch in part because Senate Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, last year.

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